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Aadhaar, adultery, 377 and more: Complete guide to India's most-awaited Supreme Court verdicts

Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra's tenure will perhaps go down as the most controversial one in the history of India's Supreme Court. On August 29, 2017, Dipak Misra took oath as the 45th CJI of India, his predecessor Justice Kehar only served 7 months but CJI Dipak Misra got more than a year. In this one year, he heard many important cases that were rife in public discourse and maximum constitution bench hearings that grabbed international headlines. Here's a recap of the important cases whose judgment is awaited in the next 25 days. 

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Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra's tenure will perhaps go down as the most controversial one in the history of India's Supreme Court. On August 29, 2017, Dipak Misra took oath as the 45th CJI of India, his predecessor Justice Kehar only served 7 months but CJI Dipak Misra got more than a year. In this one year, he heard many important cases that were rife in public discourse and maximum constitution bench hearings that grabbed international headlines. Here's a recap of the important cases whose judgment is awaited in the next 25 days. 

Constitutional validity of Adhaar: A bunch of petitions moved apex court to examine the constitutional validity of government's Aadhaar scheme and the Centre's decision to make Aadhaar mandatory for availing various services and government welfare. Last year, a nine-judge Constitution bench had held that the Right to Privacy was a Fundamental Right under the Constitution. Several petitioners challenging the validity of Aadhaar had raised the issue that the scheme violated privacy rights. 

Judgement reserved: May 10, 2018. 

Decriminalisation of homosexuality - Section 377: Petitions challenged the constitutional validity of Section 377 which says homosexuality is a crime and  striking down the IPC section . 

Section 377 refers to 'unnatural offences' and says whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal, will get life imprisonment, or with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to 10 years, and shall also be liable to pay a fine.

This archaic law dates back to 1861, and the ambit extends to any sexual union involving penile insertion.

Judgment reserved: July, 17, 2018. 

Adultery law - constitutional validity of section 497: The apex court had been hearing a clutch of pleas seeking quashing of the adultery provision in the IPC on the ground that it only punishes married men for having extra-marital sexual relations with a married woman. Section 497 of the 158-year-old IPC says: "Whoever has sexual intercourse with a person who is and whom he knows or has reason to believe to be the wife of another man, without the consent or connivance of that man, such sexual intercourse not amounting to the offence of rape, is guilty of the offence of adultery. He shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to five years, or with fine or with both. In such case the wife shall not be punishable as an abettor."

Judgment reserved: August 8, 2018. 

Ban on entry of women in Sabarimala Temple: Bunch of pleas challenged the ban on entry of women in the age group of 10-50 into the Sabarimala temple in southern indian state of Kerala. 

The apex court had on October 13 last year referred the issue to a Constitution bench after framing five "significant" questions including whether the practice of banning entry of women into the temple amounted to discrimination and violated their fundamental rights under the Constitution. The Kerala government, which has been changing its stand on the contentious issue of women of a particular age group entering the Sabarimala temple, had on July 18 told the Supreme Court that it now favors their entry.

Judgment reserved: August 1, 2018. 

There are many reasons to suggest why both litigants and citizens of India will remember him for both wrong and right actions. From pleas demanding impeachment motion to seeking his recusal from cases that accused him for bribery, CJI Dipak Misra has seen it all. 

Lest we forget the surprising press conference by four senior judges of the supreme court telling the CJI that he is the master of roster but one among equals. 

Apart from the important constitution bench cases, the other important cases like Hadiya's marriage to a Shafin Jahan, article 370 that gives special status to the state of Jammu and Kashmir and multiple cases of women moving court on fetus abortion all made headlines from court number 1 of the Indian supreme court. 

Recalling important orders like, "no one can judge the judges", "collegium decisions will be made public" and "how can supreme court intervene in the marriage of two consenting adults" will probably be seen as both progressive and contentious at the same time. 

In a first even allowing non-accredited journalists to take their phones inside court rooms for reporting purposes, the literature buff CJI gave in to unusual demands. 

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